African-American tapped as Virginia WMU executive. Valerie Carter, a longtime Baptist minister and social worker, will be recommended Feb. 8 to be the ninth executive of Woman’s Missionary Union of Virginia—the first African-American to hold the post in the organization’s 140-year existence. The Virginia WMU board of trustees will nominate Carter, associate pastor for glocal ministries at Bon Air Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., as executive director/treasurer at a called meeting of the organization’s membership at Richmond’s Mount Tabor Baptist Church—the congregation that licensed and ordained Carter to the ministry. Before she joined the staff at Bon Air Baptist 10 years ago, Carter was associate of Christian social ministries for Virginia WMU five years, developing Hope Builders/Christian Women’s Job Corps sites across Virginia. For 10 years prior to that, she was director of Hillside Baptist Center, a community center operated by Richmond Baptist Association. A native of Long Island, N.Y., Carter holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Adelphi University, a master of divinity degree from the School of Theology at Virginia Union University and a doctor of ministry degree from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. She is a trustee of Baptist Seminary at Richmond.
NABC chief to head leadership training group. Rob McCleland resigned as executive director and CEO of the 400-church North American Baptist Conference to become executive of an Atlanta-based Christian leadership training organization. McCleland, who led the 74,000-member conference since 2007, assumes his new role with EQUIP Leadership—founded by John and Larry Maxwell—effective Feb. 15. The North American Baptist Conference, based in Folsom, Calif., was founded in the mid-19th century by German immigrants to the United States. With about 74,000 members in the United States and Canada, it maintains seminaries in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Edmonton, Alberta, and missionaries in a half dozen countries. It is a member of the Baptist World Alliance and is one of 26 organizations affiliated with the North American Baptist Fellowship, a BWA regional fellowship. McCleland is a vice president of the North American Baptist Fellowship.